MiD DAY Impact: Gateway of India gets a clean sweep

Oct 13, 2013, 04:14 IST | Chetna Yerunkar and Nigel Buthello

Forced to act after MiD DAY exposed how the Gateway of India, a heritage site, was full of illegal hawkers and littered with garbage, BMC staff and cops ensure the area sports a cleaner and hawker-free look on Saturday

Who says the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) does not do its work? Of course it does. Only their officers and men have to be shamed or embarrassed a bit to begin with.

After the MiD DAY expose, police were seen patrolling the Gateway area

A day after MiD DAY exposed how the roads around the Gateway of India were littered with garbage and illegal vendors were selling everything from tea and ice creams to toys and sunglasses, the heritage site looked cleaner and free of vendors.

Click to view: Mumbai's Gateway of India lies in a sorry state

A visit to the spot yesterday showed that the BMC and the police department had done their job post the MiD DAY expose.

Hawkers are prohibited from entering the heritage zone with a police checkpost where officers from Colaba Police station sit and apparently check every individual entering the premises. The area also has a BMC office, to ensure no infrastructural glitches. When SUNDAY MiD DAY visited the site on Saturday, one could see BMC employees cleaning the garbage and the police patrolling the area to keep hawkers at bay.

The police department now plans to continue the drive and not allow illegal hawkers in to the premises. The BMC too is considering reinstalling litter bins in the area, a practice stopped after the 26/11 terror attack.

Additional Commissioner of Police Padmakar Juikar, told SMD, “I have informed the senior police inspector of Colaba police station to take the matter seriously and he will be instructing his men to keep a strict vigil.”

Additional Municipal Commissioner Mohan Adtani, said, “We will ensure that the area is cleared of hawkers and is kept garbage-free.”

Sachin Sadadekar, who visits the area quite often, said, “Usually there are many vendors here. Today there are none. Being a Saturday I expected a lot of hawkers. The authorities should continue doing what they are doing so that our heritage site is clean and undisturbed.”

Sanjeet Gupta, who had come to Gateway of India after almost a year, thought the place was much cleaner than last time. “There is a change as there are no hawkers and no litter around. I could actually sit here and talk peacefully instead of being irritated by hawkers,” he said.

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